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Antiquity of Jaina Icons

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ANTIQUITY OF JAINA ICONS

Sneh Rani jain
C/o Dr. Mayarani Jain 537-Mahalaxmi Nagar, Indore-10

I am surveying the Virgin Indian Rocks for evidence of Indus script and signs on them and find astonishing results that the Indus culture and signs are spreaded through out India till to extreme South not being limited to any restrictive zone. Also that the Indus culture presents 100% Jaina philosophical culture not present in any of the oldest Hindu or Buddhist worshipping sites. this reflects most important clues to rewrite the history and the evidences need to be maintained undestroyed.

worshipping of Jaina icons in Jainism is traceable since the very hoary past. Epigraphists and historians must have noticed this fact for self pretty long ago but never supported frankly the independent antiquity of jainsism in the book of history. It appears as if a planned obstinacy to suppress the evidence against Jainism continues. Girnara Hills with their Samprati temple and Baba Pyara caves besides the Khapara Kodia caves of Junagadh in Saurastra; the grand Hill caves of Tamil Nadu near Madurai, specially of Keelvadau, where the rocks are auctioned for stone quarry and many other sites alrcady under way of explosion and rock cutting; like the Samanara Mali, Animalai, Siddharala of Cittarala caves,Perumal Malai, Kongara Puliya Kulama etc. are all in danger of survival. These hills are under estimated by the epigraphists and archaeologists under their evaluation as of much later art-work of while the icons drawn on them of jinas present the art work of various stages ranging from thje pryoto-historic period to the Pre and early historic,so also medieval periods. Actually those ancient boulder rocks of enormous size were chosen as the penancing sites by the then Jina sramanas or monks of pre-Buddhist period for their heights abd isolation, being huge and distant for the common house-holders to reach them and disturb them. Their beauty lies in their massive shape and virginity, not spoilt by any artificial touch. They are the pride of not only Tamil Nadu and the Dravidians but the whole human community of globe. They appear as the pride of mother Nature in the surrounding green and present the oldest Jina temple of pre-Parasvanatha period on those rocks with Indus signs engraved on some of them.

Unfortunately with increase of tourism and vandalism over-writing and spoilage of the original inscription and damage to the oldest icons is coutinuous even u nder the protection of the so-called state archaeological control. All these sites are the important sites for Jaina worshippers, with much more sacred value than of Babri Masjid, having not been constructed on any earlier Indian worshipping site, and being the ancient assets of the world heritage. They need to ve protextde and cared by the government of democratic India where Jainas are in minority, suppressed since 2000 years and converted to opt the other religions for survival, specially in Tamil Nadu.

Dravidas were originally the followers of one of the jaina Sramana Sangh, belonging to the root xulture of India. Latter on with rise of the other religions and by the invadors causing duress they got splitted, running to save their lives and culture. Some moved to extreme south, some to high hills and some facing arrocities died at the hand of the rulers. Meenakshi temple of Madurai presented those records in pictures long white washed for their details during Madam Jailalitha's rule and whch as yet exist in the documental records through out India. those who ran to mountain are now called tribales like Santhals, Coles and Bhils maintaining some of their inherited culture. In Bengal, Bihar and Orissa such tribals call them Sarakas (Srawakas) and taken back as Jainas. Those pushed southwards and got concerted retaining jainism are the chettiars, mudaliars, shiv pillai and Nainaars.

Jainism is one of the oldest abnd independent religion of world with its roots in India. Inspite of the raised voices of the historians like Prof. Venkaraman of the Kamraj Madurai University and Iravatham Mahadevan of Madras against such damage to those hill bo attention was paid under an excuse that ' the protest should have come from local Jainas' there, are not only suppressed, poor and lost in earning their brcads forgetting that their rich hetita ge public and the caves a are lost ignored by them, For th language problem and difficulty in reaching the hills and cave-sites janas of other states did not Know the hidden treasure of Tamil Nadu behind the doorway of Sravana Belgola. Jaina monks also did not visit those sites fof want of attending Sravakas. Having the most rich national heritager thus Tamil Nadu got ignored by the Jainas. That does not mean that the Tamil Nadu government had no responsibilty in making that national heritage public of samction fredom to damage it by auctioning those hills in name of provincial interest.Those hills are and will remain the ancient most heritage of Jaina religion like the Girnar hills, whom Gujrat goverment is likewise neglecting through its State Archaelogical control . Inspite of the alleged archaeological control, the encroching unauthorised are allowed to deface and destroy the Caranas,the Bimbas and the inscriptions so also the caves, commanding th control of the sites in their hands. Through such tendencies Indian legislation and administration has not only failed to give a fair survival to Jainas for their religious observations but have damagded their important pre-historic evidences. No other religion in world have accepted suxh treatment by the governments but Jainism.

Those hill are subjected to damage in name of fetching money for the state under the recommendation of the Department of Mining and Matallurgy. Even if local Jainas were silent, no one will burn the sandah wood forest fo coal or melt God icon for gold, or damage a temple for bricks? One Babri Masjid was destroyed and the whole world reacted. Will the Tamil Nadu government and the Indian government Keep their eyes closed for Such a destruction? If not immediate interference by the competitive authorities is necessary in these directions.

The Tamil Nadu cave-'templeson huge single boulder granite rocks present the carvings of five different time periods ranging from the Indus period to pre-Parsvanatha period, pre-Bhadrabahu period, early Christian era and to the medieval period. It is surprising how the Sramanas walked up to those high rocks for caves with out any stairs and got down daily for food to come to human settlements in the surroundings. If those rocks are destroyed even in parts, the beauty and the world heritage of the hoary past will get totally lost. The Tamil Nadu govt. has auctioned those virgin hills to the quarry owners under th advice of the Department of Mining and Metallurgy ispite of the opposition and protests made by the historians and archaeologists. It is very unfortunate that the state government has gone totally blind to the assets of Jainas not only of Tamil Nadu but of the whole world. Jainism is the oldest religion of India and has its 100% reflectin in the Indus finds, which is called as the Dravida reflection. As mentioned earlier Dravida was one of Jaina Sramana Sangha and the folowers of those Sramanas of or Jina monks called themselves as the Dravidians. Hence they were neither foreign migrants to ancient India nor invaders. According to the Jaina Cosmo-geography India, Bharatvarsa is a part of the Jambudvipa in its Aryakhanda as mentioned in Sankrit;

......Jambudvipe, Bharate Ksetre, Aryakhande, Bharata Varse.....

Thus according to the Jaina scriptures every resident of India was Aryan (cultured) originally belonging then to any of the Sanghas Mula, Kastha, Yapaniya, Mathra, Nandi Bhillaka and Dravida etc. Scholars have not paid any attention to the ancient to the Jaina and Buddhist literatures, both being of the ancient religion of India and Jainism of pre-Vedic and pre-Buddha times. All the three religions believe in the ' Jambudvipa, Bharat Ksetra, Aryakhanda and Bharata Varsa' as the original land now Known as Bharata. Paying attention to Vedic literature only, all of them have totally forgotton to refer the other texts too. They could not read the Indus script but instead deciphering it they hace derived some other languages under their stretch of imagination trying to prove Vedic influence in the pre-Vedic culture. it is for this reason that inspite of their hard efforts they are not able to convince the world intelectuals. Candragiri of sravana Belgola retains 2350 years old Jan temple of the 23rh Jina parsvanatha, having got constructed by emperor Candragupta Maurya during his reign. Its rerandas also hold statues of the Yaksa, Yaksini with awesome art grandeur. The Jali work inside the temple shows that icon of standing Kayotsargi Parasvanatha for Yaksa Dharmendra and Yaksini Padmavati. All the twenty four jians of Tirthankaras have their separate Yaksas and Yaksints The Yaksa of Adinatha is Gomeda and the Yaksini Cakreswari, Caneraprabhu has Yaksini Jawalmalini. Ambika on tiger is the Yaksini of Neminatha often mistaken as Durga . Majority of these Gods and Goddesses are taken ofr worship since time not known by Hindus for their, power of obligations while tirthankaras. and jinas do not do anything of ten miracles are shown by these celestials (Yakasa and Yaksinis) only in the Jaina temple sites as well. The Tamil Nadu icons vear as penta-hood snake of Nagaraja of Nagarkoil temple as Yaksa of Suparsvanatha, the 7th Tirthankara Scholars have mistaken this 7th Jina Suparsvanatha as 23rd Jina Parsvanath further mistaking in evaluation of the antiquity of the icons of Tamil Nadu caves. None of the rocks of the early cave- temples show Parsvanatha in Tanmil Nadu. Such treasures need to be preserved and announced to the world so that the tourism is encouraged to fetch currency to nation and the states rather than damaging them. As an awakned Jaina, it is my sincere and urgent protest to stop further destruction of the Tamil Nadu mountiains so forth and to cancel all the quarry contracts preserving the sites for rourism. I hope, other Jainas will also Join me



अर्हंत वचन, अक्टूबर दिसम्बर २००५